Cameroon has fallen 20 places in the 2023 rankings of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the NGO that works to defend press freedom worldwide. The country of the Indomitable Lions has dropped from 118th place in 2022 to 138th place this year. "Although Cameroon has one of the richest media landscapes in Africa, it is one of the continent’s most dangerous countries for journalists, who operate in a hostile and precarious environment," the RSF wrote to explain that setback.
Unsurprisingly, RSF cites the kidnapping and murder of Martinez Zogo last January as one of the exactions against media professionals recorded in the country this year. Despite arrests, the fog surrounding Martinez Zogo's murder hangs thick. Businessman Jean Pierre Amougou Belinga, accused of orchestrating the killing, and his alleged accomplices, former counter-espionage chief Maxime Eko Eko and Lieutenant-Colonel Justin Danwe, remain behind bars awaiting trial before a military examining magistrate. However, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the lack of progress and alleges evidence of manipulation in the investigation, raising serious concerns about whether justice will be served.
In addition to the Martinez Zogo case, RSF highlights the murder of Anglophone journalist Anye Nde Nsoh as another egregious incident in Cameroon. Nsoh was fatally shot on May 7 in Bamenda. Since this tragic event, advocates for journalists' rights have acknowledged the increasing danger faced by professionals in the region, where armed secessionist groups frequently perpetrate atrocities against the civilian population.
Michel Ange Nga